THE EARLY DAYS
Imagine there were no computers, only a manual typewriter. Imagine if you had to paint correction fluid to edit your typing errors. Many of your written drafts ended up in the waste-paper basket! Temper flared up. After that, you have to struggle to finish your manuscript, edit them yourself before seeking an agent. Most authors failed to get the attention of the agents. This situation was the scenario for writers in the early days.
THE RISE OF THE INTERNET
Computers and the internet changed all that, and things improved. It gave aspiring authors hope to make it to the big time. It enables many authors to bypass traditional publishers. Before this, there was only one part of being a successful author; to get noticed by a literary agent who then pitched their works to the book publishing companies.
Since the early 1990s, because of technology, aspiring authors no longer depend on these publishers. All they had to do is to get around the literary castles and go directly to booksellers and readers. Who the hell needs them now as they could achieve their dream on their own? Right? Not exactly. By taking this route, these authors suddenly realized that things are not that easy as it looks.
I CAN WRITE, SO CAN I
“If I can do it on my own, so do many others!” They all shared the same dream. Suddenly the world is facing a self-publishing industry explosion! Now, you not only struggle to write, but you have to face the same difficulties that traditional publishers went through. This is the self-publishing dilemma.
TRADITIONAL PUBLISHERS: I TOLD YOU SO
As an indie-author, the most daunting problem I faced is multitasking our works. After the manuscript is finished, we have to edit them and follow through with marketing and promotional activities. Indie-authors also have to choose their book cover design carefully. They also have to be extra careful writing their book synopsis.
Then they had to think about engaging with their communities on social media platforms and, like what I am doing now, struggling to think about what topic to write on my blog post. Blogging is easy for specialized writers; for example, a well-known politician or an astronaut. But for fiction writers, what do they blog? That will be another topic to discuss.
Then, there are the genres you have to pick. Will romance suit you? What about a thriller? Historical or fantasy? Sometimes, I wish self-published writers could be just like the authors who take their chances with traditional publishers. All they do is keep on writing. Their publishers will take care of the production, marketing, and promotion jobs.
Seriously, how the heck could indie-authors produce a new manuscript if they kept getting bogged down with their multiple tasks? I have many ideas to proceed with my next novel. Still, with all these things hanging in my head, it would take an incredible amount of effort to begin a new story while we are busy trying to figure out the other ongoing activities. Self-published authors; don’t you all faced the same dilemma?
SELF-PUBLISHERS ARE HEROES
I think indie-authors are among the most fantastic people that ever live. First of all, they are creative. They are then forced to be exposed to all the jobs usually done by producers and marketing teams. Self-published authors are like small-time businessmen, who do all the works to promote his product. However, businessmen do not have to sweat writing out ideas to put on a manuscript. Only self-published authors can have the experience of solving this dilemma.